Student Applied Research Guide

Helping students to understand the applied research process

What is the applied research process?

Every project will be unique, and at College of the Rockies we have a wide range of expertise and disciplines, so the approach to an applied research project will be unique to the research question and will be guided by your faculty research mentor.

However there are some concepts that are common to most applied research projects, and it is useful to familiarize yourself with these key concepts if you are planning on participating in applied research projects – and we hope you will! The concepts are presented here in the order that a typical project might progress, but feel free to skip around to whatever topic interests you the most.

Project conception

Research goal or problem statement

Background (literature review, or “Why didn’t someone do this already?”)

Start to plan the project (Stage 1 planning)


Plan the project (Stage 2 planning: Research methods, experimental design, statistical analysis.)

Does this seem confusing or overwhelming? Don’t worry! Your research mentor and the Office of Applied Research are here to help you every step of the way. Call or email us!